Sleep problems are fairly common and have a number of causes. Neurological disorders are responsible for some sleep disorders, and sleep problems can contribute to neurological problems, so it's important to have a sleep problem diagnosed and treated so a lack of sleep doesn't have negative consequences for your health. Here are some sleep disturbances caused by neurological disorders, symptoms you may have, and treatments that might help.
Sleep Disturbances Caused By Neurological Disorders
Things like stress, caffeine, and exercise late at night can cause sleep problems, but those are different from a sleep disturbance caused by a neurological condition. If the problem originates in your brain, it could become chronic. For example, you might develop chronic insomnia. You might have restless legs, wake up and can't get back to sleep, or stop breathing while you're sleeping.
The sleep problem might affect you during the day too if you suddenly fall asleep when you're doing daily activities or working. Neurological disorders that can cause sleep disturbances include Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, traumatic brain injury, stroke, dementia, and spinal cord injuries. Your brain controls your body's awake and sleep cycles, so any condition that affects your brain or central nervous system could potentially cause insomnia or other sleep problems.
Symptoms You May Have
Fatigue during the day could be a red flag for sleep problems. If you don't get restful sleep every night, you may be always tired, have brain fog, or develop memory problems. Your partner may report that you stop breathing for seconds at a time while you sleep. Your sleeping pattern may be erratic, and you could have insomnia. You may also experience unusual movements, such as jerks or twitches when you try to fall asleep.
These symptoms may alert your doctor to a sleep problem, but they'll need to run tests to uncover the cause so you can be treated. One test you may have is a sleep apnea test since it's important to treat apnea. This is when you stop breathing for several seconds while sleeping. It sometimes has a physical cause such as too much tissue in the neck area that causes an obstruction, but other times it is neurological in origin.
Treatments That Might Help
Sleep disorder treatments vary when the cause is a neurological disorder. You might be given medication or you might have to wear oxygen during the night while you sleep. Improving your sleep habits might help too. Your doctor may want you to go to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time every day while avoiding napping. Changes to your diet and routine might be needed too so you avoid stimulants and are in a relaxed frame of mind at bedtime. You'll also want to work with a doctor to keep your neurological condition managed as well as possible.
Contact a local sleep center to learn more.